Ram Sharan came out of the temple premises licking his lips. He practically lived for these Fridays when he could have dinner at the temple otherwise the food at his labor camp was …ugh, he couldn’t find a proper word. For that itself he was paying 20 Dinar a month.
He was all of 21 yrs of age and he had been in Bahrain as a construction company laborer for already 2 years. Earning Bahraini Dinar (BD) 90 a month, BD 20 was a princely amount for him. Out of that each month he managed to send home BD 50, BD 10 he always kept for emergencies and BD 10 he invested in a ‘chit’.
The Krishna Temple in Manama will usually have some sponsor for the Friday ‘prasad’. For many laborers this is the only good meal that they have in a week. And so the temple premises as well as the Joofri galli where this temple is located will be crowded. And so on this day the beginning of February when the winter has not quite ended, Ram Sharan is sweating and he takes out his handkerchief to wipe his brow.
From there he proceeds to Zenj Exchange to make a Demand Draft and send it to India but whats this. His purse is missing. He squats down there itself in a daze. Pickpockets were rare here. Still he had taken precautions. Instead of the back pocket he had kept it in his front, who could have taken it from there and what will he do now? How will his mother manage? His brother’s exam fees had to be paid. Before the monsoon the roof of their house had to be repaired. What will happen now.
He sat there for a long time until one of the employees of the exchange enquired and then gave him some fils (coins) so that he could go back to his camp in the bus.
Next day he was still morose, he didn’t know how to manage without money for a month and worse still how his mother would manage. During the mid morning break he got a message that his sponsor ( the one who provides visa) was waiting for him outside.
‘Ram Sarran, tum kall kidhar gaya?’(Where did you go yesterday) asked Mr. Saleh his sponsor
‘Manama gaya sahib(went tp Manama)’, said He.
‘Tumhara purse gir gaya nahi.(your purse fell isn’t it?) one person found it and seeing your CPR found my address, came and gave it. I rewarded him with 1 BD taken from your purse’, said Mr. Saleh and left.
Ram Sharan was shocked. Hi s purse must have fallen when he had taken out this handkerchief. But to locate his address from the CPR and then return the purse was very noble.
He had lost faith when his purse was lost but the Zenj employee who had given him bus fare and the man who had returned the purse, both had restored his faith or had Lord Krishna taken care?
A Central Population Register (CPR) Card is a sort of Identification Card which has details of each person including his photograph, Passport number and the name and address of the Sponsor/Visa provider in case the person is an expat. The smart card which has recently replaced the CPR, also has a chip which records everything. This card has to be with the owner at all times and is required for everything right from taking a loan, or for getting treatment in a hospital/clinic.